Stuart Muir: Getting into the spirit of Whisky Month
KNOWN as the water of life, our national drink is having a moment. Well, a whole entire month to be precise as May celebrates Whisky Month.
In the kitchen, food and whisky can be a match made in heaven as the malty spirit adds complex character to both sweet and savoury dishes. Much more than a flavour to add to cream, whisky is an ingredient to experiment with. And when it comes to enjoying a single malt the options are endless, from neat and on the rocks to the main ingredient of a show stopping cocktail.
At Dine we’ve got into the spirit of the month and in the kitchen we’ve created a refreshing salad with a difference while our mixologists in the bar have concocted a summer inspired whisky cocktail you can shake up at home.
• Award-winning chef Stuart Muir is owner of Edinburgh brasserie, champagne lounge and bar, Dine. Saltire Court, 10 (1F) Cambridge Street, Edinburgh, EH1 2ED. www.dineedinburgh.co.uk 0131 218 1818
BEETROOT AND CAMPBELTOWN LOCH SALAD
2 Baby candy beetroot
2 Golden Beetroot
2 Purple Beetroot
200g Campbeltown Loch Cheese
Mixed bitter leaves
10 red seedless grapes, cut in half
Whisky Dressing ingredients:
20ml lemon juice
50ml malt whisky
Pickling Liqueur ingredients:
50 ml water
50ml white wine vinegar
50 ml white wine
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
½ tablespoon fennel seeds
½ tablespoon coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns
1 star anise
For the beetroots, place each colour beetroot into separate pans and cook until a small knife passes through them easily. Remove from water and place into bowl, covering with cling film. Once cooled, peel them using your hands and wearing gloves.
To make the beetroot pickling liqueur, add the liquids into a pan along with the sugar. Bring to the boil, once sugar has dissolved, add spices and herbs. Cool down. Quarter each beetroot and pickle the purple beetroot using the liqueur, pouring liqueur over them and also the grapes. Leave to sit for at least one hour.
For the dressing, combine the water, lemon juice and sugar in a pan. Bring to the boil and reduce by half. Add the honey, then whisk the whisky in. Season with a pinch of salt.
For the garnish, mix a few bitter leaves and Campbeltown Loch cheese, cut into slices. Add beetroot and drizzle with whisky dressing.
TAWNY SUMMER TODDY
37.5 ml Monkey Shoulder
25 ml Tawny Port
1 half fresh squeezed lemon (or 25ml)
2 heaped teaspoons caster sugar
1 Egg White (optional)
1 Sprig rosemary
Combine sugar and lemon in cocktail shaker (or protein shaker if you do not have basic cocktail equipment). Stir until sugar breaks down. Add remaining ingredients. If you would like a fluffy, meringue-y head on top of your drink, add egg white and shake without ice, before shaking with ice. Add ice and shake hard for 30 seconds. Strain into small wine or cocktail glass. (a sifter works well for this). Add sprig of fresh rosemary for garnish.